27 January 2013


Recently I participated in a "team competition" where the various staff sections had to compete against each other in a 4 mile ruck march, eval, treat, and evac a casualty, weapons assembly, pullups, tire flip, high crawl and SALUTE report, water jug carry, and memorization game.

I had exactly one female on my team.  She did just fine on the ruck, litter carry.  However she couldn't do a single pull up.  She is a senior NCO, multiple combat tours under her belt, and she could not perform a single pullup.  For her entire career there has never been a single requirement for her to actually perform pullups.

First off, there are some jobs where upper body strength is a requirement.  Infantry and Field Artillery immediately come to mind, although Tankers have to handle some pretty hefty rounds in pretty small compartments as well.

Secondly, there are some jobs that do not require upper body strength, like being the tank driver, or a air ambulance medic.

Third, I've never had to do a pullup, pushup, or situp in combat.  But if I were going to assault a compound in a city I would want the men around me to be able to do pullups, in case we needed to get over a wall, negotiate around a blocked stairwell, or do something other than take the easy route.

In my career there have been requirements to do pullups.  In OCS they were required to be done before and after chow, although it wasn't a "pass/fail" event.  In Ranger school, it was a pass/fail event.  If you don't do your six perfect pullups after pushups, situps, and running five miles, so sorry try again some other time.

I'm sure some feminist will tell me that by including a team pullup event we were automatically "marginalizing our female minority" or some such bull.  I don't care about what you have between your legs, or which team you bat for, or any other sort of identifier that people want to slap on in order to get special treatment.

Erin Pallette (see sidebar for Lurking Rhythmically) has been discussing this on Facebook, and the common theme is that "don't lower the standards" which most women have voiced.  The problem with not lowing the standards is that a lot of women will fail.  It doesn't matter that half of all Ranger students already fail, no, someone will get all butt hurt that girls are failing and dictate a standards change, I'm sure of it.

But none of this is addressing any tactical need.  We don't need women in the Infantry.  We need women in Female Engagement Teams, Military Police, MI Interrogators, Civil Affairs, MISO, Medics, and even in jobs that can be done by males like admin and logistics.  We've got the "kill the enemy" part of military operations down pat, we don't need women to do that.  We need women for all the peacekeeping crap that comes after.


Anonymous said...

Given the obvious choice between no women, or no pullups, you figure out what political correctness dictates as the kneejerk response by this administration, and likely in perpetuity.

You went to bat for women, now you get to live with the results. Arguably, all those PC "missions" that're so vital have little, if anything, to do with what a military ought to be doing in the first place. It's been mission creep, in pantyhose and heels.

And IIRC, tank drivers have some need to participate with their crewmates in breaking down 150# track links fairly regularly, which I don't think they're doing with their thigh muscles. (Ditto for IFV/APC tracks, and Stryker and HMMWV drivers shifting spare tires and batteries,not to mention things like ammo cans, fuel cans, and TOW missiles.)If your air medic has no upper body strength, is she going to ask the (male) WO up front to help her get the casualty in and out of the bird, or just roll him out onto the tarmac on his face?
And when HQ is staffed by no upper body strength women, how well will they displace when it comes time to pack and move (or will we just rely on union moving companies staffed by civilians, like we do for 800K current DOD jobs formerly done by men, who could also pick up a rifle in a pinch, and without assitance)? I'm trying to picture Bekins guys at Bastogne, Chosin, or Hue, but I just can't conjure enough of my feminine side to do it.

And ships and aircraft are even worse, whether it's slinging cargo, ammunition, fuel hoses, engine parts, crates of stores, or doing damage control and repairs in cramped spaces without benefit of mechanical assistance(which even officers and button-pushing pilots have to assist with in emergencies, unless we're willing to accept additional crew and platform casualties when things get sporty - in return for wearing the Victoria's Secret pink Gender Awareness Ribbon with lace doiley clusters.)

GENERIC DoD COndolence Letter, circa 2025:
"Dear Sir/Madam,
The Secretary regrets to inform you of the loss of your son/daughter/transgendered dragqueen, because when the torpedo/bombs hit, they couldn't find enough beefy strong folks who could shift enough timbers to plug the leak/shovel gravel into the craters/haul those darn heavy fire hoses up and down the ladderwells, so the ship sank with all hands/airfield was lost to enemy advance. So sorry."

Rethink, please.

Requiring a military with women who can barely meet male minimums will winnow the recruit pool down to a fewscore Amazons nationwide in about an hour, which isn't a bad thing. But the shrieking will be heard from Vassar to Capitol Hill. AFAIK there hasn't been much of anyone above the rank of 0-2 willing to saddle up for that fight in the last 30+ years, and the entire nation is now going to pay for that moral cowardice.

Probably at the hands of some nation without the social refinement to recruit anything but hulking Neanderthals who can't color-coordinate their wardrobes except with camouflage.

AM said...

I'll still go to bat for women, it would be stupid to ask an all male military to do the "Operations Other Than War" without women.

As far as breaking track goes, that's is just a crap chore that everyone has to pitch in to accomplish. I'd be

What I don't understand is the "equality at all costs" mentality that ensures things will be less effective than optimal.

Anonymous said...

Since the day I woke up to find that "we" invaded Panama I have wanted an empire reduction, so I cannot say I'm all that excited about the huge MI complex.

That stated it seems like all this equality power politics will turn the American military into another crappy army of internal occupation, and with a good chance of it being used against white men like myself in the near future.

If this was not about power then they could propose a two track combat training regimen, Lady Rangers, Lady SOF, Lady SEALs, Lady Grunts. That being a more realistic way of making sure Lt Splittail could at least get up in the hatch and clear a jam and know where to fire once the MG is operable.

But its all about power using such nonsense called "equality" which frankly is nonexistant in the real world. Good luck Ranger Danger. rrs

Anonymous said...

I wanted my daughter to become a physician. She got the pilot bug when she was a teenager and decided to become a military pilot later. Maybe they let her qualify only because she was a female?

Thank God my three sons listened, passed the tests and qualified for proper military service.


NYPatriot said...

They will, in time, certainly lower or eliminate standards in order to meet certain "quotas." Or create brand new MOS-types which do not require them to meet certain standards, but allow them to receive the "Awards & Badges" they that are necessary in order to rise in the ranks.

The idea of a commander with fake or "show" combat experience will be nothing new.

In any case, the Wars that will produce the next batch of military leaders are over. And these men have cut their teeth THEY will react to the coming Troubles, than if a women will become commander of the 101st in 30 years.

Pericles said...

Every armor crewman works on the track. With 50% of the unit being officers and NCOs, nobody stands around to watch work being done, whether it be ammo upload, track replacement / repair, changing road wheels, pulling a power pack, etc. All of this is physical labor requiring upper body strength - and it gets more intense when the unit is at less that 100% strength.

jwoop66 said...

Dude?! Two months ago you were offended and incensed that anyone would suggest women shouldn't be in combat. You called some of us names when we voiced our reasons for keeping them away from combat.

Schizoid much?!

Treadhead said...

"Operations Other Than War"? Shouldn't those be performed by "People Other Than Soldiers"?
That's probably why women are so well-suited for them. Maybe Martha Stewart should design the uniforms and matching drapes, Maybelline and Revlon can perfect moisturizing Vitamin E and Aloe cammie sticks, and Ophrah and the shriveled harpies on "The View" can be the recruiter and drill sergeants to tuck them in after Taps.

The first mistake was writing mission statements better suited for Donut Dollies at the Red Cross than to throat-slashing killers. The second was listening to people who want women to believe "You can do anything if you want it bad enough". Everything else after those two Tinkerbell philosophy lessons shouldn't be any more surprising than finding dog pee on fire hydrants. (It's worth noting that what passes for Ranger Indoc now used to be called "Basic Recruit Training" in the very recent past...just before the services suddenly saw coed platoons as a feature instead of a bug.)

Combat is physical labor, or we'd recruit senior citizens and cripples too. Stephen Hawking is a brilliant guy, so quick poll, who wants him and his wheelchair fastroping behind you into a hot LZ, or guard mount on the Nork DMZ? Maybe we could give the SAW or the 240 to Stevie Wonder while we're at it, he's pretty spry these days too, and has world class dexterity. And we won't need to buy him NOD either, so he saves us money!

Unless "combat" for women is only pushing buttons in some airconditioned trailer on a UAV base in Nevada, because they shouldn't be allowed any closer to the actual front lines than that.

Women will belong in actual combat the day after the Minnesota Vikings hire a female left tackle, and the Olympics has women competing against men in track & field events. Just about the time Satan orders long underwear.

Doing it for the Army, where the words "Track" and "Field" refer to a set of far more critical events is going to get our troops killed, if it hasn't already done so. I'd ask, but I hate to dig up Jessica Lynch's platoon mates just for that.

Some people need to ponder real hard on the poem "For Want Of A Nail..."

Deliberately fielding second-rate troops is a disservice to them, and the guys who'll have to pick up their slack. (Don't believe me, just ask Kara Hultgreen's RIO.)

The guys will either die for it, or do what troops did in Vietnam when someone, of any rank, threatened their long-term survival prospects by failing to measure up: rounds go astray in firefights all the time, and grenades fall under cots with an unsettling predictability given such conditions.

And the number of excellent potential troops who won't sign up in the first place because of this ongoing descent into madness is going to rise apace as well.

Like I read somewhere or other:
"Life is unfair. Deal with it."

AM said...


My stance on women in combat is the same as it was then. We need them, we just don't need them to kick in doors.

The impetus for this post was the news that "combat roles" have opened for women.

I can acknowledge that women are smaller and weaker, and also necessary. If you can't follow that logic....